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The Cover
December 10, 2003

Portrait of Francisco de los Cobos y Molina

Author Affiliations

The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate, MD, Senior Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 2003;290(22):2912. doi:10.1001/jama.290.22.2912

The Italian Renaissance was slow to come North, taking almost a century to reach the Low Countries. It was the Flemish painter Jan Gossaert (c 1478-1532) who finally accomplished the feat. A friend of Philip of Burgundy, as well as a recipient of his beneficence, he traveled in the entourage that went to Italy in 1508; he spent considerable time in Florence and Rome, as well as stopping in a number of other Italian cities en route. There is a possibility that he even visited the workshops of Michelangelo and Raphael, who were then at the height of their powers. When Gossaert returned home he brought so many new ideas to the still largely Gothic North that he was dismissed by his peers as being "too modern." Gossaert is, for example, credited as the first painter to introduce the nude figure in motion into Flemish art. A life-size Neptune and Amphitrite, completed in 1516 for Philip of Burgundy's castle of Suytburg (now Souberg), survives. Evidence suggests that Philip, with his wide interest in classical and humanistic learning, wished to make the castle a center of Italian Renaissance learning.

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